Estimated reading time: 14 minutes
How do you write a letter? What steps do you have to follow? Are there any samples that can help in letter writing? Edulyte’s blog deals with answers to all these questions and more.
Letter-writing skill is essential for everyone, not only for professional reasons but also for personal ones. Depending on their purpose, they can be brief and casual or polished and long. Communicating through a letter leaves a great impression. But we all do need guidance on the format of how to write a letter.
Types of letters. What type of letter should you write?
The type of letter you should write depends on the person you are addressing it to and the letter’s purpose. An informal letter will be the right choice if you write to a friend or a family member. They can be in the form of:
- handwritten letters
- personal emails
- social media messages
A formal letter is a way to go if you are applying for a position or writing to someone you are not associated with. During your career span, you will ask yourself and others around you: how to write a leave letter or how to write a cover letter. Hence, it is better that you are equipped with the know-how of a formal letter format that can be written for the following purposes:
- a job application
- letter of intent
- business memos
- promotion letters
- regulation letters
- thank you letters
How to write a formal letter? What to include in a formal letter?
A formal letter is ideal for official correspondence, which means you would write many of them in your professional life. A formal letter format has a proper style, which should be strictly adhered to as essential letters.
Step 1: Write the contact details and date
- It comes in the upper left corner of your letter. Place your full name and address. In such a manner, the receipt can easily find your contact details. If you use the company’s letterhead, your contact information will already be printed, and you can skip this step. Capitalise the title and place a comma at the end.
- Leave a line and write the date you are writing the letter
- Skip the following line and place the recipient’s full name and contact information. Leave a blank line after that.
Step 2: Greetings/Salutations
Begin your greeting with “Dear” and the recipient’s name. “Dear Madam or Dear Sir” is so 20th century, so avoid that. If you do not know the name, you can always place the recipient’s job title: “Dear Head of Communications Dept.” Or you can always use “To Whom It May Concern.”
Step 3: Body of your letter
This is where you place all the information that has to be conveyed. It is an official letter, so keep it simple. Also, avoid slang, contractions or a casual tone. If you share a lot of information, divide it into paragraphs and place the last section as a summary, where you highlight all the essential points of the information.
Do not forget to proofread for grammar and spelling errors.
Step 4: Sign-off
Like salutations, signing off is also significant in a formal letter. You can always use “Sincerely,” or “With sincere regards,” Always capitalise the first letter of the complimentary close and place a comma at the end.
Leave a line and sing. Place your name under the signature along with your job title.
Stop 5: Mention enclosed documents.
In case you are attaching documents or any form of information to the letter, write “Enclosure” after your job title and mention the name of the document: “Enclosure; Resume” In this way, you ensure that ht recipient does not miss out on referring to the additional documents that you have sent along with the letter.
Format of how to write a letter: Formal
|Dear Mr/ Ms. ______ (name of your manager),|
I am writing this letter to inform the company about my decision to resign from the position of ______(mention your designation).
As my employment contract requires, I am giving three weeks’ notice, effective today. My last day at work will be May 16 2023.
After much thought, I have decided to take up an offer with another firm. Please let me know if any assistance is required regarding transferring my responsibilities before I leave.
Finally, I would like to thank you and the company for not just employing me and teaching me many valuable skills. I wish you everyone in the team the best for the future.
How to write an informal letter?
Informal letters are casual in tone, but there are specific guidelines to keep in mind when you are typing one. The format of how to write a letter: informal: is given below:
Step 1: Your address
Mention your address in the top left corner of the letter space.
Step 2: Date (optional)
You have to adhere to it only partially; you may skip this step.
Step 3: Greetings/ Salutations
A polite greeting is necessary, and we use “Dear” along with the person’s name, followed by a comma as part of the salutation. “Dear Aunt Mary Jane,”
You can even switch to a more casual greeting, “Hi, Leonard,”
Skip a line to move on to writing the body of the letter.
Step 4: Your message
Informal letters usually carry news meant to be shared or just a regular keep-in-touch message. Since the tone is conversational, you can use casual phrases and slang, depending on how you have communicated with that person over time.
Step 5: Signing off
Like formal letters, you must include a complimentary close in informal ones. You can sign off by saying “Best wishes” or “See you soon,” with the first letter capitalised and a comma at the end.
Leave a line and place your signature.
Step 5: PS (optional)
PS or postscript is used to add a detail you forgot to mention in the body of the letter.
“PS/P.S.: I might be travelling to Spain soon.”
|20 Ingram St. |
Queens, Forest Hills,
NYC – 605431
December 18, 2023
Dear Mary Jane,
I am thrilled that I have been accepted into New York University’s Space Science program. The course commences in June 2024, and I can’t wait to get my hands on the course materials and books. Ned has also been accepted into the same program, which adds to my excitement as we have been friends since high school. But, of course, Aunt May has not stopped talking about my acceptance to everyone at her workplace!
When are you planning to come to the city? It will be so good to see you.
Looking forward to your reply.
With lots of love,
How to write a letter for a job application?
A job application letter/ cover letter for a job should not be confused with a resume. It is a letter you submit along with the resume that states an interest in the position and allows you to elaborate on your qualifications and experience. The proper formal letter format for a job application will create an interest in the hiring manager about you and get you a call for an interview.
If you are wondering how to write a cover letter appropriately, the steps below:
Research well about the job and company
You would get a clear idea about the job description and use the information to customise the letter and make it more impactful.
Stick to the format
Use the formal letter format to design your letter. It gives the impression that you are professional and are serious about being considered for the profile.
Explain why the company should hire you
Highlight your qualities and achievements. Point out why you are the right fit for the job.
Mention why you are applying
Of course, you are applying because you need the job, but what you have to place in the letter is why the job profile/ working for the company excites you.
Go through the format of how to write a letter for the job given below and write your letter professionally.
|December 18, 2023|
HR, Millennium Falcon Inc.,
26th Tatoonie Road,
Endor – 150654
Dear Mr Vader,
I am writing this letter to express my interest in the sales manager position at Millennium Falcon Inc. I came across the LinkedIn job profile and believe I am the right fit for this job. I am the Sales Manager at the Lucas Valley branch of Death Star, one of the country’s most prominent computer hardware and systems vendors. While pushing for diversification in our services, I single-handedly doubled the sales for the last accounting year.
I am a great team player with effective communication skills. With advanced problem-solving skills and a keen aptitude to understand customer needs, I am confident I will deliver successful outcomes for your company.
I am eager to learn and look forward to the challenging role you offer. I am sure it will be a rewarding opportunity for me. I look forward to discussing my suitability for your company’s job profile.
How to write meeting minutes?
Meeting minutes are essential for every organisation as it the formal record of the critical points discussed in the meeting. They are also crucial proof of diligence, ethics, and bylaw compliance. Your meeting minutes should be well-structured and have the following necessary items:
- Date and time of the meeting
- Venue of the meeting
- Names of the Participants and those who are not attending
- Topics discussed and actions taken
- Motions taken or rejected
- Voting Outcomes
- Next meeting venue and date
How to address a letter of application?
Finally, you have figured out various formats of how to write a letter. And you are sitting down to write a letter of application for your dream job. But, while staring at the blank page or the blinking cursor, you have many questions; How do I start? To whom do I address it? What should I say?
Relax, we have easy tips for handling your letter writing:
- Always address your letter of application to the hiring manager. Place the first and the last name after “Mr.” or “Ms.” (Mrs. and Miss are obsolete)
- In case you wish to be gender neutral, you can address the letter as “Dear Hiring Manager”, “Hello Hiring Manager”, or “To Whoever It May Concern.”
You can even address it to the team or committee hiring you, “Hello ABC Digital Marketing Team” or “Dear Junior Software Developer Search Committee.”
The ultimate goal of a letter is to get the message across concisely and coherently. In addition, you can leave a lasting impression on the recipient with a suitable letter format and language. Letter writing is an excellent exercise in expressing yourself and a great way to boost your language skills. If you wish to improve your letter-writing skill or language proficiency, simply get in touch with our handpicked English tutors.
Learning lessons, study tips, career guides and much more!
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Frequently Asked Questions
Formal and Informal letter have their formats, and you should stick to them while writing a letter.
How you start a letter depends on the letter format.
In the formal letter, you mention your contact details, then the date. After that, you place the recipient’s address before moving to greetings.
In an informal letter, place your address, then the date you write the letter (optional) before moving to salutations.
The 5 crucial steps of writing a letter are:
* The contact details
* Body of the letter, the message you wish to communicate
* Closing statement
* Mention of any documents that are enclosed/attached to the letter
Formal letters are written for professional purposes. The 5 types of formal letters are:
* a job application
* letter of intent
* business memos
* promotion letters
* regulation letters
* thank you letters
Step 1: Write the contact details and date
This comes at the upper left corner of your letter. Place your full name and address. In such a manner, the receipt can easily find your contact details. If you use the company’s letterhead, your contact information will already be printed, and you can skip this step. Capitalise the title and place a comma at the end.
Leave a line and write the date you are writing the letter
Leave the following line and place the recipient’s full name and contact information. Leave a blank line after that.
After placing the greetings, start with the first paragraph where you mention your intention of writing the letter.
I saw the vacancy for the post of Sub-Editor advertised by your publication. I am interested in this profile……
If you do not know the name, you can always place the recipient’s job title: “Dear Head of Communications Dept.
You will come across many such scenarios in your professional life where you will not be familiar with the name of the person you are writing a letter to. Or you can always use “To Whom It May Concern.”
In the formal letter, the first sentence should clearly state the aim of the letter:
I am writing this letter to request information about/ to complain about / to apply for/ to thank you for…..
In an informal letter, you can begin with the following:
it has been ages since we last met each other/ how have you been? / I heard about the news / it was so good to see you on Saturday….
The first statement of a letter depends on whether you are writing a formal letter or an informal letter.
If you are writing a formal letter, indicate the aim of writing the letter in the first sentence.
In the case of an informal letter, you can ask the recipient about their health and well-being.
You write a formal letter for professional purposes like a letter of application, a resignation letter, or a letter of recommendation, among others.
When you write a letter to members of your family, friends or relatives, the letter is called an informal letter.
The indicators of a good letter are completeness, conciseness, consideration, concreteness, clarity, courtesy, and correctness. These are called the Seven C’s.
A letter of introduction is the first point of contact, and it allows you to tell the recipient more about yourself, with the potential outcome of gaining a new job or business contact as a result. While writing a letter of introduction, follow the standard structure:
* Purpose of letter
* Direct & Indirect relevance of contact
* The outcome
While writing a formal letter, you can address the recipient by their title, their name preceded by “Dear” or “To Whoever It May Concern.”
In an informal letter, you can address the receipt as “Dear” followed by the name of the recipient: Dear Henry, Dear Uncle George,…
You can always sign off by writing “Sincerely” or “Regards”. Then leave a line and place your signature. Under your signature, mention your name and title.
We advise you to check the layout of the formal letter with relevant examples given in our blog above.
How you write a letter depends on the type of letter you are writing, formal or informal.
The tone of formal letters is professional and informal letters sport casual language and syntax.
The formal letter structure must contain the following:
* Contact details and date
* Body of the letter
* Signing off
* Mention the attached documents
An informal letter structure includes:
* Contact details (Date is optional)
* Body of the letter
* Sign off
* Postscript (optional)
Writing to friends is always a wonderful experience. While penning down your thoughts and emotions for your friend to read, keep the following structure in mind:
* Contact details
* Body of the letter
* Sign off
* Postscript (optional)